Behind the firewall 11

Is Nimbus a misnomer? ... More changes in HP's storage group ... EMC keeping PowerPath support secrets?

The wheels are turning on iSCSI support for EMC's network-attached storage (NAS) gateway, the Celerra NS600. An...

iSCSI target version of the Celerra NS600 figures prominently on an internal Microsoft document of approved iSCSI hardware devices qualified under the Microsoft Designed for Windows Logo Program. Interestingly enough, EMC's Symmetrix is not on this list, which may explain why--according to many industry insiders-- no one is using it.


Tom Isakovich, formerly of TrueSAN, is back with a new company, Nimbus, which makes low-cost iSCSI storage. What's a nimbus, you ask? A quick check of the the American Heritage Dictionary reveals that it's none other than "a cloudy radiance said to surround a classical deity when on earth," or " a splendid atmosphere or aura, as of glamour, that surrounds a person or thing." It also refers to a Nimbus cloud, as "a rain cloud, especially a low dark layer of clouds." Given the unmitigated disaster which was TrueSAN's CloudBreak product, we find it odd that the new company would stick with the cloud metaphor. Perhaps the name ColdFront or FlashFlood might be more appropriate?

McData's new 10000 Series Director is planned for the fall, and will feature up to 256 ports. Also, McData is working on bladed versions of its IPS 3300 and 4300 internetworking switches, which it gained last year when it acquired Nishan Systems.

HP's storage group is in a continual state of flux. The latest executive to leave the group is Neal Clapper, formerly VP of the online storage division. Clapper has been reassigned to Zurich, where she is the sales VP for the customer solutions group. Taking her place is Rick Steffens, the former VP and general manager for HP's systems VLSI technology division.

Thinking about testing Veritas Volume Manager 4.0 on a Sun server? Be forewarned: You need to be aware that the latest version of VM running in clustered Sun configurations may require either a storage array microcode upgrade or changing the setting for each LUN that the Sun cluster accesses. Once you've gone ahead and done all this, however, our source reports improved (shortened) boot times and better system performance.

File this one under edit the #@$%&* manual (ETFM). Users running the latest version of EMC Control Center, version 5.1.2, report that there's an extra undocumented step to the LUN masking process. After the normal LUN masking steps are completed, you now need to perform an extra step and activate the changes. Until then, the servers getting assigned the LUNs are unable to access or see them. Charming.

Is Intel eyeing Brocade? Intel is ramping up its efforts in the storage market, this much is clear. The chip giant is working on a NAS device aimed at the low-end of the market and is also feverishly bolting together as many storage functions that it currently sells on separate chips into a single piece of silicon. But what about networking? Intel has had an on-again, off-again affair with the networking market for years and some say it might want to get back in again. On the storage area network (SAN) switch side, Brocade, Cisco and McData are all fighting over the same customers. According to industry watchers, three is a crowd in this sector and consolidation is in the cards. Brocade, they say, is looking the most vulnerable.

Are you evaluating storage resource management (SRM) software? If so, here's something to look out for. One user reports that most of the SRM packages he looked at had real trouble with multipath support. With multipathing on, the products would report n times the actual storage, where n is the number of paths.

Since when has EMC's PowerPath multipathing software been available for non-EMC systems? EMC never issued a press release to that effect, but a reader tells us that it now supports HDS and IBM Shark arrays. Meanwhile, IBM is working on its own multiplatform multipathing software, SDD, to support EMC and HDS arrays. Stay tuned....

Behind the Firewall is written by a team of industry insiders who, for obvious reasons, prefer to remain anonymous. If you have tips, send them to
This was last published in July 2004

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